Swimming with Seals at La Jolla Cove

Amanda's Top 3 California 'Must Sees' 

#2: La Jolla Cove

I think, in another life, I was a mermaid. I love anything you can swim in: ponds, lakes, oceans, pools; I’ll even still run through sprinklers. So I just had to read about La Jolla Cove to know it was a must-see! The beach is small, set between rocky cliffs, a bunch of palm trees, and a populated and pristine beach town. Though we didn’t snorkel, I could see how the clear water, abundant marine life and tidal pools would make it a prime place for beginner snorkeling. (Free, too, if you have your own snorkeling equipment.)

What did make it an amazing experience was the marine mammals. I literally swam with seals that day! I had heard that the seals will swim in the cove, but it was still such a crazy experience. There were probably 40 people swimming in this beautiful Californian cove, with five huge seals playing and barking between them! The water was beautiful, the temperature was perfect, and I simply swayed with the waves and watched the seals play for nearly a half hour. One sign at the top of the stairs warns people to stay “at least 10-15 feet away from marine mammals,” but when they rode a wave toward me faster than I could get away, I came within five feet from them! They were having a ball. Being a fanatic animal-lover, it was a heart-racing and heart-warming experience. My must-see #2.

La Jolla Cove logistics:

  • La Jolla is a 20 minute drive from San Diego.
  • In the cove, people are advised to stay 10-15 feet away from any marine mammals. 
  • If you simply take a walk along the coastline, you will spot many seals and sea lions.
  • The neighborhood and beach town of La Jolla is a very obviously clean and affluent place. It’s very photogenic and fun to walk through, but we didn’t even bother looking for an affordable hotel.